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Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS)

Best Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS)

TrustMaps are two-dimensional charts that compare products based on satisfaction ratings and research frequency by prospective buyers. Products must have 50 or more ratings to appear on this TrustMap.

Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) Overview

What is an Applicant Tracking System?

An Applicant Tracking System (ATS) is a type of software used to manage recruiting operations. It is generally available as a cloud or web-based service. The hub of the software is a database of candidates. Connected to the hub are job listings on job boards and the company website, which feed candidates’ applications into the hub. Recruiters can post and manage job listings from within the hub. Recruiters can also communicate with candidates from within the hub via email or social networks like LinkedIn.

However, since it’s often associated with old-school passive recruitment methods, the term "ATS" has been phasing out in favor of "recruiting software." The shift in language indicates a market trend towards software allowing recruiters to better manage the recruitment process, from recruitment marketing to job applications and hiring. It typically has four major functions:

  1. Facilitating sourcing of job candidates
  2. Collecting and managing resumes
  3. Managing interaction with job candidates
  4. Candidate Relationship Management

Today, ‘ATS’ may refer to the whole recruiting platform, or just the piece that stores submitted applications.

Resume Parsing Software

Resume Parsing is a specific activity that falls under the umbrella of application tracking and recruiting operations. Tools designed for resume parsing automate the process of gathering, analyzing and storing resume data. There are three common types of resume parsing tools: Keywork-based for simple keyword and phrase recognition, grammar-based for deciphering each sentence, and statistical for leveraging numerical models of text in the entire resume.

Some vendors offer recruitment software or ATS suites that include some resume parsing or functionality. However, there are a few resume parsing point solutions available as well.


These include:

Applicant Tracking System Features & Capabilities

ATS and recruiting platforms assist with each stage of finding and hiring new employees. Basic ATS platforms aggregate and manage resumes. Today, it’s typical for recruiting software to include features around:
  • Job requisition management

  • Company website posting

  • Social media publishing

  • Job search site posting

  • Customizable applications forms

  • Resume management

  • Duplicate candidate prevention

  • Candidate search

  • Applicant tracking

  • Collaboration

  • Task creation and delegation

  • Email templates for communication with candidates

  • User permissions

  • Notifications and alerts (particularly for interviews

  • Standard reports on key recruiting metrics


More advanced recruiting tools may include additional features, such as:
  • Integrated background checks
  • Experience/education verification
  • Candidate screening tools
  • Video interview capabilities
  • Integration with onboarding/talent management software
  • EOE compliance checking

Recruiting is a core component of talent management. Most of the products listed in the talent management category offer recruiting capabilities as part of a broader suite that includes onboarding, performance management, compensation, learning, etc.

Recruitment Management

This is the core functionality that allows users to manage the recruitment process. Common capabilities include:

  • Email and resume parsing

  • Scheduling and calendars

  • Analytics and reporting (to assess which approaches work)

  • Mobile accessibility/mobile apps

  • Referral programs

  • CRM-type features for storing candidate information


ATS vs. Active Recruitment

Taking a candidate relationship management approach to recruiting changes the paradigm of hiring. It holds that candidates should be treated much the same way as customers, and emphasizes providing a good experience for candidates. It’s the job of recruiters to actively market to prospective employees, to get them interested in the company and job opening, and make sure they have a smooth experience with the company.

Most traditional applicant tracking systems (ATS) simplify the hiring process for the employer. At the same time, some make it more difficult for the applicant. This is where the candidate experience and engagement strategies of modern recruiting software come in.

Tools designed for an active recruitment strategy focus on searching for and communicating with candidates who might not have applied yet, or even be actively seeking a new job yet. Software solutions like SmashFly act as a kind of recruiting CRM platform, to store candidates’ contact information and a history of past communications. LinkedIn Talent is another major player in this arena. Some vendors specialize in aggregating this information to make it easily searchable, including:

Applicant Tracking Systems Comparison

To compare different ATS products, you likely want to consider evaluating these aspects of the software:

  1. Recruiting agency vs. In-house recruiting focus: Some applicant tracking systems focus on servicing recruiting agencies and firms, with scaling for high volume and white labelling for recruiting clients. Other ATS products are designed more for in-house recruiting, including more personalization and automated processes. While most ATS offer capabilities for both groups, trends in which user groups prefer a given product are usually identifiable in reviewer demographic information.
  2. Support for Candidate Relationship Management: With an increasing focus on attracting talent that isn’t actively job-seeking, Candidate Relationship Management features are an essential component of inbound recruiting. CRM capabilities enable long-term candidate tracking to build out your talent pool, as well as recruiting campaign management. Determine how you want to go about establishing relationships with passive candidates, and what specific CRM features support that kind of relationship, be it email communications, advertising/job marketing content, social media content, etc.
  3. Core applicant tracking vs. full recruiting cycle support: There are still some ATS products that focus solely on tracking candidates’ application materials, but most have expanded to support other aspects of the recruiting process, up to the full recruiting lifecycle. Common differentiation points in feature lists include support for interviews, note taking, document signing and management, scheduling, and integration with onboarding systems.

Pricing Information

Pricing for ATS and recruitment software varies depending on the focus of the vendor and the size of the company/candidate pool. Specific pricing is available by a custom quote from most vendors. Costs can range from thousands of dollars per year to hundreds of thousands of dollars per year, depending on the number of features, integrations, recruiting users, and applicants you need in the system.

More Resources

Applicant Tracking Products

Listings (26-50 of 191)

12 Ratings

Hyrell is a cloud-based applicant tracking system. Its capabilities include batch or mass communication with potential candidates via multiple channels like email, social recruiting, and job boards, employee screening and testing, resume parsing, data management, and analytics.

21 Ratings

Entelo is a recruitment and ATS offering. It provides core recruitment features, as well as a candidate database and search engine for proactive candidate-seeking. It also provides filters to support greater diversity within companies’ talent pools.

11 Ratings

According to the vendor, Skeeled is a unique technological solution with a modern and innovative approach that seeks tocentralise and digitalise traditional methods used so far in human resources. Skeeled’s vision is based on 3 pillars: Digitalise and automate your processesSkeeled 1 will save your …

13 Ratings

Hiretual is a recruiting platform that aims to help you find and engage the right people 10x faster. According to the vendor, customers use Hiretual to source across 30+ platforms and 700M professional profiles, quickly gather contact information and hire efficiently with team collaboration, pipeli…

20 Ratings

myStaffingPro is a web-based applicant tracking system (ATS) that offers applicant tracking, candidate recruiting, and onboarding in a scalable, configurable solution. It is a SaaS model makes it accessible from anywhere at any time, and offers unlimited integration capabilities. Some key features i…

12 Ratings

iApplicants is a cloud-based ATS that offers batch or mass communication with potential candidates via multiple channels, resume parsing, and data management. This particular platform is sought and used by small to midsize companies and is offered on a flexible payment schedule.

17 Ratings

Breezy is an applicant tracking system that aims to be fun-to-use. The vendor says its goal is to turns organization's messy hiring hacks into a pain-free process candidates love.The vendor believes hiring doesn't have to be messy. According to the vendor, Breezy customers can say, "Sayonara!" to th…

10 Ratings

Brightmove is a cloud-based ATS developed by Brightmove, Inc based on Florida.This product offers the full suite of features typical of applicant tracking systems, as well as a few other features: a user-friendly and customizable dashboard, mobile accessibility, SMS messaging from the dashboard, bat…

10 Ratings

AkkenCloud is a cloud-based ATS developed by Akken Inc in New Hampshire. This product offers the full suite of features typical of applicant tracking systems: A user-friendly interface and mobile device integrationBatch or mass communication with potential candidates via multiple channels such as …

6 Ratings

Harri, headquartered in New York, offers a workforce optimization platform for restaurants, which supports scheduling and attendance management, hiring, as well as communicating with employees and collaboration.

9 Ratings

Vincere is a CRM/ATS for ambitious recruitment firms of all sizes. Founded in 2012, Vincere is designed specifically for recruitment companies covering Direct hire, Contract & Executive search, with built-in front, middle and back office capabilities. The vendor promises more activity and more …

7 Ratings

Big Biller is a cloud-based ATS developed by Top Echelon Networking, Inc in Canton, Ohio.This product offers an adequate suite of features typical of applicant tracking systems: a user-friendly interface and mobile integration, batch or mass communication with potential candidates via multiple chann…

11 Ratings

RecruiterBox is a cloud-based ATS developed by RecruiterBox, Inc in San Francisco.This product offers the full suite of features typical of applicant tracking systems: a centralized candidate database, batch or mass communication with potential candidates via multiple channels such as email or by le…

6 Ratings

The VidCruiter platform offers a variety of products and features designed specifically to optimize recruitment. The workflow system will allows users to map out the entire recruitment process and automate it to their level of comfort. The platform can be completely customized to meet the specific…

6 Ratings

WebHR is a Cloud based Social HR for SMEs that covers everything from Hire to Retire. WebHR is currently used by more than 8,000 companies in 171 countries. WebHR assists in managing the organization's most important asset - its Human Resource. Key features of WebHR: Native iOS, Android & Windows 8…

5 Ratings

Bambu is a social media marketing tool from Sprout Social that leverages employee advocacy. It allows users to organize and encourage distribution of company blog posts, press releases, news and articles, thought leadership, and customer case studies through employees' personal social networks on Fa…

Built for Teams is an HRIS solution that is designed for small and mid-sized businesses. The vendor’s value proposition is that their employee self-service capabilities help to offload work from valuable HR managers while giving employees direct access to important information. Additionally, the ven…

Frontline Recruiting & Hiring (formerly called AppliTrack) is recruiting, hiring and onboarding software for K-12 school districts from Frontline Technologies. It includes a set of online tools that help users attract more qualified candidates, as well as custom automated workflows that streamli…

TrustRadius Top Rated for 2019

2019 Top Rated Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS)

There are plenty of options out there, but here's our shortlist of the best Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS). These products won a Top Rated award for having excellent customer satisfaction ratings. The list is based purely on reviews; there is no paid placement, and analyst opinions do not influence the rankings. To qualify, a product must have 10 or more recent reviews and a trScore of 7.5 or higher, indicating above-average satisfaction for business technology. The products with the highest trScores appear first on the list. Read more about the Top Rated criteria.

Frequently Asked Questions


What is an Applicant Tracking System?

An Applicant Tracking System (ATS) allows a business to track the records of candidates for positions in their business. ATS’s at their core should store and organize candidates’ application materials, such as resumes and references, but frequently support other aspects of the application process, such as skills assessments and interview notes.

What’s the difference between inbound and outbound recruiting?

Outbound recruiting is a method of recruiting conducted in response to specific, immediate hiring needs, including posting the opening on job boards and other job marketplaces. In contrast, inbound recruiting is a more long-term strategy that emphasizes building your company’s brand and image among candidates. The target audience in inbound recruiting also includes potential candidates who are not currently job-seeking but would still be a desirable hire.

How do ATS’s read resumes?

Applicant Tracking Systems use variations of Resume Parsing technology to read resumes. The sophistication of this technology can range from simply scanning resumes and application materials for various keywords, to employing Natural Language Processing to measure the quality of a candidate’s application and how close a match a candidate is to the job description.

What’s the difference between Applicant Tracking Software and Recruiting software?

Applicant Tracking Software is a subset of Recruiting software. While historically, ATS’s were clearly distinct from other recruiting software, such as video interview, background checking, and resume parsing products, these functions have been consolidating into unified products for managing the full applicant lifecycle, with ATS as the foundation for the rest of the processes.

How much do ATS’s cost?

ATS’s prices are impacted primarily by whether it is a standalone product or part of a larger HR suite, which would increase the overall cost but could be more efficient for your broader HR functions. Standalone ATS’s rarely advertising exact pricing on the front end, but the price frequently scales by the range of processes supported, the number of candidates’ data are stored, or the number of job postings being managed.